IT professionals are concerned about the threat of ransomware such as CryptoLocker, according to a survey by IT security company KnowBe4.

The June 2014 survey of more than 300 IT professionals compared the levels of concern about ransomware to a similar survey by IT security company Webroot in January. The study showed growing apprehension about ransomware. Nearly half of the IT professionals surveyed know someone who has experienced a ransomware attack. More than 88 percent expect ransomware to increase for the remainder of the year, compared to 66 percent in January.

Also see: The 4 Pillars of IT Security

KnowBe4 used the same questions in its survey to see what impact ransomware has had in six months’ time. The company found that IT professionals are increasingly realizing traditional solutions like endpoint security are failing, KnowBe4 said. The ransomware survey showed that 88 percent expect ransomware to increase this year; 47 percent feel email attachments pose the largest threat; confidence in endpoint security dropped from 96 percent in January to 59 percent; and 88 percent consider Security Awareness Training, offered by KnowBe4, to be the most effective protection from ransomware. If confronted with a scenario where backups have failed and weeks of work might be lost, 57 percent would begin with paying the $500 ransom and hope for the best.

“It appears the Russian cyber mob has picked a highly profitable business model,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4. “Our study shows the overwhelming majority of IT pros think the criminals behind ransomware should be prosecuted and sent to jail for a long time. We agree, but U.S. law enforcement has no jurisdiction in eastern Europe, where these criminals are largely free to commit their crimes.”

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